Buckle up for some beachside adventure during your stay at the Sea Ranch Resort. Roll down the windows, crank up your favorite tunes, and go driving on an Outer Banks beach. Embarking on an off-road outing is an excellent way to maintain some level of privacy and view the local wildlife and vegetation at your own pace. However, before you hit the sandy shores, make sure you have everything prepared before your beachside escapade. 

Everything You Need to Know about OBX Beach Driving

Unfortunately, driving on OBX beaches isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. One of the first things you have to verify is that your vehicle has four-wheel drive. Vehicles with all-wheel drive or “intelligent 4WD” will not perform well on soft sand and may need to get towed (which is very expensive). 

Once you have the right vehicle, work on getting an OBX beach driving permit. Depending on where you’re planning to go, consider getting the Currituck County Beach Parking Permit or the Cape Hatteras Off-Road Use Permit. Check out this comprehensive list of where you can drive and when. Make sure you keep track of the tides and that you schedule your outing around low tide. Before you go, fill up your gas tank and let some air out of your tires ( 20 PSI for SUVs and half-ton 4X4s; 35 PSI for ¾ 4X4s). Now that you have everything in order, it’s time to hit up the beaches near our Outer Banks hotel. You may also want to consider this list of materials to bring along just in case you get stuck. Lastly, go to a car wash after your OBX beach driving adventure as saltwater can do some damage to your vehicle.

General Rules to Be Aware of: 

  • Unless otherwise indicated, the speed limit when no people are present is 35 mph, unless you’re driving on a park beach. 
  • If there are other people around, the speed limit drops to 15 mph. 
  • Maintain a distance of about 150-feet from any wild horses that cross your path. Please stay in your vehicle and appreciate the wildlife from afar (be sure to take lots of pictures!).
  • Avoid driving on dunes or vegetation.
  • Remember to leave no trace! (Tire marks excluded),

Plan the Perfect Outing from Our North Carolina Beach Resort

If you’re looking for places to stay in the Outer Banks, consider reserving a spectacular oceanfront accommodation via the Sea Ranch Resort. Treat yourself to your cozy, spacious rooms, or book an entire condo for your OBX getaway. Dine at our on-site restaurant, The Beachside Bistro, which serves delicious meals with an unbeatable oceanfront view. For more information on driving on an OBX beach, or to make a reservation, please give us a call at 252-441-7126.